The Issue of Race in the United States’ Acquisition of the Philippines
Rowena Q. Bailon, Ph.D.

Bailon, Rowena. 2019. “The Issue of Race in the United States’ Acquisition of the Philippines.” Diliman Review 63 (1-2): 1-16.

This paper argues that the skin color remained to be the defining factor in the “otherness” of the Filipinos that justified America’s acquisition of the Philippines. The acquisition had divided the American public at the turn of the twentieth century. Both imperialists and anti-imperialists presented a discourse that had put race at the center of the debate. While the imperialists considered the acquisition of the Philippines as a continuation of their moral obligation to civilize the world and anti-imperialists considered it as a deviation from the democratic principles and tradition of the country, both seemed to agree that the annexation was a major threat to the purity of their whiteness. Gleaning over the Anti-Imperialist League’s (AIL) minutes of the meeting, and speeches by staunch imperialists, this paper will look into how the opposing groups viewed the Filipinos in connection to the race relations that confronts the American society at that time.